We’re feeling on top of the world today. Kiara seems to have had no neurological setbacks at all from the op. Her O.T. assessments show a steady, although modest, improvement over the last few weeks.
This weekend Kiara asked to see photos of the accident for the first time. She was a bit nervous, so I started off with one just of the car and the dented door.
“Is the other one horrible?” she asked with a grimace. She’s never been one for scary movies. She’s brave, but she’s also smart in how she protects her mind. I assure her it’s not too bad because she was not visibly damaged other than the bleeding from her head. But when I peep at the photo first, there’s a lot of blood, so I warn her about what she’ll see, and she decides to look anyway.
She looks at the photo of her taken through the window of the car. She is cradled in my arms and my face is almost touching hers as I try to examine the wound on her head. She is staring through me with lifeless eyes.
“Was I already unconscious?” she asks, and, “Whose towel is that? Is your shirt full of blood? Did you have to throw it away?”
She’s done with looking at the pictures quickly, but I know they’re waiting in her brain’s inbox to be pulled up and carefully examined tonight as she sleeps. Brains have a way of dissecting details until they’re sure they’re filing memories away rightly. But while the thoughts are still in our conscious minds, we have the opportunity of influencing how they’re filed.
So before she can change the subject I ask, “I wonder what God was seeing in that moment? It looks scary and gruesome to us, but all along he knew what was going to happen.”
I tell her about her birth. In that moment as she first emerged into life in this world, her head was also covered in blood.
“What?!” she exclaims. “Why?”
I laugh. “Don’t worry, it wasn’t your blood.” I explain to her that birth could look pretty scary and gruesome if you didn’t know what was happening. But when you can see the big picture, the blood and even the cries are not scary but are signs of something beautiful and wonderful.
Again, I bring it to the accident. She is always referring to this side of that day as her ‘new life’: “Look, Dad, it’s my first time doing pirouettes in my new life!”
So I help her to reframe the image by changing her perspective:
“When we looked at that accident and the blood on your head it looked scary and dangerous. But I wonder if God could see the start of your new life? I wonder if he could even see something beautiful that was just beginning!”
She nods thoughtfully, and I can almost see the image changing labels in her mind. Her face is relaxed and there is no fear. Only trust in a God who knows all, and an openness to let him teach her how to see.
That night there are no nightmares. The next day there are no further questions. She is experiencing life without fear, despite being unable to control her circumstances, she can control her reactions. By choosing faith instead of fear, she is gifted with peace and health of mind.
And so today, we celebrate. Everyday we celebrate. We don’t always know or understand our circumstances, but we trust in a good God who knows the plans he has for us, and is able to work all things to the ultimate good of those who love him and are walking according to his plans.